The name of the square derives from the Palazzo della Spagna, located in the southern part of the square. Originally this square was called Piazza della Trinita, but then was divided into Piazza di Francia, which occupaying northern part of the square and Piazza di Spagna at its south side. For long time it was a place of fights and bloody battles between France and Spain. It was Pope Innocent XI, in the end of 17th century, who suspended so-called rights of the district.
Finaly the square took only one name of Piazza di Spagna, mostly due to excistance and survival of Pallazo di Spagna.
In the southern part of the square is a Colonna dell'Immacolata, made of a cipollino column found in excavation on Campo Marzio. The central part of the square is occupied by Fontana della Barccacia, work of Bernini. This central part of the square, with the Spanish Steps is called the open-air salon of Rome.
Last trip June 2010.
I can't think of a better place to hang out than the Barcaccia fountain at the foot of the stairs at Trinità dei Monti, Piazza di Spagna. A good meeting place among the azaleas :)
The staircase leading up to the Church Trinità dei Monti is elegant and impressive. I won't go into the diplomatic fights that took place between France and the Vatican at the time the stairs were built. Both powers are represented by their blasons there...
I think the old photo 2 (me with head only...) was taken at the top, near the Convent of the Sacred Heart. The view from the top is still great!
The Spanish Steps, Piazza di Spagna, Trinità dei Monti, this rather noble-looking district is the fourth rione of Rome and is indicated as follows: R.IV Campo di Marzio
Fondest memory: My fondest memory of Rome is dining on Via Veneto with my friend Bruce, in a very good restaurant where we didn't even know how to ask for plain water (non frizzante, I said... they understood.)
We probably were lucky, everything was beautifully presented and delicious, yet it wasn't that expensive. That was near the end of the seventies...
I'm a huge Fellini fan and I had to walk where Anita Ekberg walked in La Dolce Vita! I always make it back there when in Rome. Via Veneto.
On my last visit, June 2010, I stopped at a chic café with large terrace for the aperitivo. Everyone around was beautiful and smiling, and the waiter graciously brought two delicious pizze with the wine, along with another snack. I was surprised to see the prices hadn't gone up outrageously, it was very reasonable for such a pleasant stop.
Photo 1, it goes without saying, is of Harry's Bar on Via Veneto.
"Les garçons étaient en noir" (The Waiters Wore Black), to quasi-paraphrase the film by Truffaut, since this street is the stuff of films for me.
Favorite thing: Being in Rome and missing the Spanish Stairs is like eating soup without a salt. What brings all this people here, what is so magnetic in this stairs making both, locals and tourists, to gather here all day and long in the night? Once you get here makes you to stay for a while, to sit down and watch the people around, smiling with them for no reason, being in good moods and sharing drinks and food with those next to you.
Favorite thing: The history and story of the Spanish Steps was lost to me when I saw these women do their little performance. Maybe you will be lucky enough to see something going on there when you visit. It's a great spot to do some people watching, post card stand near by and a natural photo op.
The spanish steps are made by the Frenchman, Guefffier in 1723.
It was made to be the Spanish ambassay ( that's why it has it's name ) at the Holy Chair.
In the past it was loved by artists and Grand Tour travelers,specially English people, that's why it had also the nickname ' English Getto'.
Tennyson, Byron, Liszt, Wagner, Stendhal, Rubens, Balzac and Keats lived here.
The most beautiful time to visit these steps is in juni or july.
The steps are full with flowers, azalea's,
Ressource for tourist:
American Express has its office here.
Although I don't recommend eating there (come on, you're in Rome), check out the interior of the McDonald's. They established themselves in an old palazzo, causing the ire of the Romans.
Have a tea at Babington's or Caffe del Greco (on swanky via Condotti... check out the autograph by Buffalo Bill) where sophisticated British ladies and other rich foreigners were indulging during their mandatory pilgrimmage to Rome.
From there, hit the designer shops of Via Condotti (if you have the wallet for it) or Via del Corso (more democratic) or reach the Trevi Foutain.
Make a beeline to the most exciting square in all of Rome - the PIAZZA DI SPAGNA dominated by the enthralling SPANISH STEPS.
If you want to enjoy a truly international atmosphere, then this is THE place for you! Ideal for people-watching, the Spanish Steps and Piazza di Spagna take their names from the Spanish Embassy located in the hour-glass shaped Piazza.
If you come in Spring (like I did... on my very first visit to Rome), you'd be able to catch beautiful azaleas covering this whole area.
Fondest memory: Er... I don't mean to complain (really) but the siesta time in Rome really drove me nuts.
I mean, major shops and high fashion boutiques like Gucci, Ferragamo, Prada etc are closed from 1 pm to at least 5 pm!
So, how can a fashionista ever hope to replenish her wardrobe?
Well, in my opinion, there is really nothing much you can do when the shops are closed during those hours.
Why don't you follow me i.e. what I'd do when I'm in Rome and when almost all the shops are closed in the afternoons? I usually try to occupy my time during those hours when I can't shop by going for High Tea or... like the Romans, I take my siesta too! ;-)
Hm, now I truly appreciate and understand where the phrase 'When in Rome, do as the Romans do!'....
Favorite thing: We thought the Spanish Steps would be a great place to stop and eat our breakfast so we sat down on the steps and got our food ready...a minute later a Policeman started blowing his whistle and yelling at us (in Italian of course so we couldn't understand him)...apparantely there is no eating on the steps ...haha! We found a sign telling us so as we left...
"The sitting room" of the city. You can sit on the stairway and, from there you can see Via Condotti - one of the most exclusive shopping streets in Rome. -
In the upper part of the stairs, there is a church - Trinitá dei Monti -, and bottom of the stairs you can see a fountain: "Della Barcaccia" (Fountain of the Old Boat), designed by Bernini´s father, that compared to the other fountains in the city isn´t attractive at all.-
Lugar de reunión de los turistas. Es un clásico sentarse en sus escaleras y desde allí observar la Vía Condotti – la más exclusiva arteria comercial de Roma -. En su parte superior se encuentra la Iglesia de la Trinitá dei Monti y al pié de la escalera hay una fuente – La Fontana della Barcaccia – que comparada con las restantes fuentes de Roma es, a mi criterio, no muy bella.-
Favorite thing: a very touristy place but that adds to the appeal for the lone traveller. it is ironic that one of the main attractions in rome is the spanish steps leading up to a french church but that is rome for you.
The spanish steps are situated at the end of the Via Condotti. In the summer they are usually packed with people sitting on them people watching.
Standing facing the steps is the house which is now a Museum to Shelley and Keats and where they lived at one time.
There is information about Keats, Percy Shelley, Mary Shelley and Lord Byrom in the museum.
9am - 1pm - 2.30pm-5.30pm
Monday - Friday
Entrance fee is payable.
Fondest memory: Its not really my fonest memory, but it seems whenever I have visited Rome, I seem to spend time sitting on these steps putting sticking plasters (bandaid) on my sore feet!!! The last time in November 2000, it had rained and the steps were damp so I sat on a carrier bag to protect my rear end from getting wet!!! :-)
Just thought I would share that with you all -lol
Where else but in Rome could you admire a 17th-century colonnade designed by Bernini while resting against an Egyptian obelisk carried off from Heliopolis while Jesus was still alive? Or stand amid the splendor of Renaissance frescoes in a papal palace built on top of the tomb of a Roman emperor? Where else, for that matter, are vestal virgins buried adjacent to the Ministry of Finance?
Fondest memory: Rome went all out to spruce up for 2000, and when you visit in 2002, you'll benefit from all those improvements made at the end of the 20th century. For the Jubilee, decades' worth of grime from car exhaust and other pollution was scrubbed from the city's facades, revealing the original glory of the Eternal City (though Rome could still stand even more work on this front), and ancient treasures like the Colosseum were shored up. Many of the most popular areas (such as the Trevi Fountain and Piazza Navona) are sparkling and inviting again.
Whether they're still time-blackened or newly gleaming, the city's ancient monuments are a constant reminder that Rome was one of the greatest centers of Western civilization. In the heyday of the Empire, all roads led to Rome, and with good reason. It was one of the first cosmopolitan cities, importing slaves, gladiators, great art, and even citizens from the far corners of the world. Despite its carnage and corruption, Rome left a legacy of law; a heritage of great art, architecture, and engineering; and an uncanny lesson in how to conquer enemies by absorbing their cultures.
But ancient Rome is only part of the spectacle. The Vatican has had a tremendous influence on making the city a tourism center. Although Vatican architects stripped down much of the city's glory, looting ancient ruins for their precious marble, they created great Renaissance treasures and even occasionally incorporated the old into the new--as Michelangelo did when turning the Baths of Diocletian into a church. And in the years that followed, Bernini adorned the city with the wonders of the baroque, especially his glorious fountains.
Favorite thing: To be honest, I was disappointed in the Spanish Steps. It is really a place to hang out and pose but, not being posers, we didn't stay long. It is always packed with tourists and that means pickpockets and people pestering you to buy posters of Jimi Hendrix. Our guidebook warned us about 'The String Guys'. We didn't see them but apparently these guys will approach you in groups of 6 or 7 and offer to do a sleight of hand trick with string. While you are busy watching one of them, the others are busy removing your valuables. Be very careful here!
Favorite thing: Favorite Thing: Here is the Spanish Steps.You must go here to see the beautiful square,the shops and the fountain.Shopping here is very trendy and you can then relax in a nice bar with a good glass of Frascati wine.There were lots of trendy clothes shops here that were great prices too.
Favorite Thing: Here i am climbing the Spanish Steps.Most sights in Rome are very close together and easy to walk to.I was surprized just how close most things were.But remember to take a nice comfy pair of walking shoes as you will find yourself wondering miles.
Especially around all those wonderful shops;)